I want to talk about work-life balance and what it means to me. Specifically in this time of crisis and adjustment to new schedules, new routines, new ways of living and working, I think it’s very important and poignant. So work-life balance… this is something, admittedly, I will share, that I’m not always the best at.
But I’ve learned a lot through my evolution as an entrepreneur, as a professional, and as an individual on what really works for me and a system of living and working together that have created a lifestyle that is enjoyable, supportive, freeing, and really focuses on accomplishment and productivity.
Work-life balance starts with accepting life’s seasons
So for me, what work-life balance really means is for one, pausing and giving myself permission and space to realize and accept the fact that sometimes we go through seasons in life. And I first heard this concept from Tony Robbins, which is sometimes in our life, we’re going to be really dialed in and focused primarily on our work.
And if you’re a business owner or an entrepreneur, you know acutely what I mean here by this, which is you know, very much we’re focused on launches, on building our business, on advancing our mission and our vision and it takes a lot. It takes a full all-in commitment of mindset, energy, you know, productivity, and all the things and resources that we marshall to put into it to really achieve our goals. Now even if you’re not a business owner or entrepreneur, sometimes you will also have similar pressures and energy-driven drive and ambition to really get things done and to make your work and your career a priority.
And that’s okay.
A lot of us, I think, get down on ourselves. We get pressure from spouses, from family members that we need to do a better job of balancing. And while I don’t disagree, I think that there’s a happy medium to that balance, too in this sense. It’s not always about the quantity of time that we spend with the people in our life that matter to us. It’s about the quality of time we spend with them.
So what I’ve really committed to last year and this year is spending more quality time with the people that I love and care about. Being fully present. Leaving my phone in the car or the house when I’m with them. Really being in tune with their thoughts, their concerns, what’s going on in their lives. Being more empathetic and understanding of what they’re going through and how I can help support and serve them in supporting their goals and their mission, too.
And what I’ve seen is my relationship with the key people in my life that I really adore and look up to and love, my family and certain key friends, has improved as a result. Now I still have room to grow here. I still need to spend more time getting to see some of these friends in person. Although right now that’s not going to happen.
But being more engaged and taking a leadership role in scheduling Zoom calls, initiating FaceTimes, checking in with friends, family, and relatives really demonstrates leadership, care, concern, and love. So that’s a way that I’m helping to balance my work and my personal life priorities a little bit better.
Working to live, not living to work
The other thing too is we want to really work to live, not just live to work. Until you get to a place in your career where you’re able to do work that’s so fulfilling, that’s so gratifying that it doesn’t even feel like work, work-life balance also about safeguarding the time to devote to personal interests and hobbies and activities.
So for me, I’m a big skier in the winter. Love to snowmobile. A big world traveler. I like to explore new cultures. I’m a big reader and writer. I love to hike and water ski and mountain bike and run and be outside in the summer. So what I do is, I save guard time around these things.
I’ll make sure I take at least a half a day or a day each week to do some of those hobbies, to go out and have fun, to relax and celebrate the small wins in my professional life or the big wins from the prior week in my businesses so they can enjoy some of that, the fruits of the labor and not be so focused and dialed in all the time on the destination, but be more embracing of the journey, the things that allow us to get to the destination.
Because there’s a lot of gratification in that. There’s a lot of joy in that. There’s a lot of soulfulness and a lot of reward and fulfillment in that. So that’s where I’ve also been working to do, to create more work-life balance.
Be completely present in whatever you’re doing
And you know, lastly, what I want to continue to do is carve out more time, more dedicated time blocks where I’m completely off the grid, not even thinking about my work priorities, my businesses, my goals, and my dreams, which is hard of course. But to be fully dialed into the people I’m with, the situation I’m in, the activity I’m fully emerged in.
That’s what I want to do and I’m starting to do that by scheduling at least one major vacation every quarter, for at least a week. Safeguarding and creating vacations on the calendar before you start to get into the quarter and then several other long weekends here and there where I can go off on short excursions.
I have several events, professional and entrepreneurial events, and masterminds I attend throughout the year as well and ones that I speak at that also get peppered in there each quarter. So being diligent and mindful about creating my schedule, my calendar, my plan for each upcoming quarter, sticking to that and putting vacation and personal time where I can pursue my hobbies and interests, what I love to do outside of work, that goes on the calendar first and then I schedule everything else around it. That’s the whole idea of working to live and being in tune with ourselves and what’s important to us. For me that’s experiences, that’s memories, and that’s relationships with people that I love and care about.
So that’s what work-life balance means to me. That’s how I sometimes manage that as a very busy, driven, type-A entrepreneur that owns and manages multiple seven-figure businesses in an increasingly challenging environment here during this coronavirus crisis. That’s what I do.
I’d love to hear what you do to manage work and life requirements, priorities, challenges.
If you enjoyed this or any part of it, please leave a comment below, like it, and please share this with somebody that needs to hear it as well with some tips and tactics on what I’m doing to better manage my time, to create balance and some semblance of unity between work and personal life priorities.